Obviously, the Carlos Silva-sized elephant in the media room at Safeco Field was the blockbuster trade that is in the works that we’ve written about, fans have discussed and analysts have debated endlessly for the last 30 or so hours.
But true to his guarded fashion, GM Jack Zduriencik was very tight-lipped today when it came to Cliff Lee or any other moves.
The media was asked to keep any questions during the main press conference related to Chone Figgins and his signing in Seattle. But once that was over, Zduriencik took questions from a small group of reporters.
The second question? You guessed it.
Q: So about Cliff Lee, what’s the status right now?
I have no comment. Quite frankly, today is all about Chone Figgins. And any other things that we may be talking about – and we have a lot of balls we’ve been juggling, I’ve said that all along – that will be at another time. Today this is about Chone Figgins.
Well, it was to start. But it didn’t stay that way.
Q: The fact is, you can’t stop with signing Chone Figgins if you want to reach your stated goals, can you?
I’ve said all along we’ve had a lot of discussions going on. We’ve had a lot of balls we’ve been juggling, a lot of options. We’ve been looking at them, investigating them, this (the Figgins signing) is one that’s in the fold. And we’ll see if (there is) any other discussion or further discussions.
Q: With the internet and twitter and blogs, fans get bombarded with all this information and speculation. They really just want some kind of measure of how accurate this Cliff Lee business is. Is there anything to it?
Sure absolutely, (but) I have no comment on that. I go right directly to the point. I have no comment on anything that’s ongoing.
Q: Is it frustrating dealing with all this on-line age with all the rumors?
No, not at all. You are always asked questions about a lot of different things. You have a job to do, I don’t blame you. I would be curious as well about a lot of things that are read or said. But from my standpoint, we’re here to talk about a guy we HAVE in the fold. And that’s important to us because he’s going to mean so much to us. And any other thing that’s in the works or we’re having discussions about will be for another time.
Q: You talked about juggling balls, and with regard to Chone’s situation, how interested is this team in Adrian Beltre?
It’s what I’ve said. It’s hard to comment on a specific free-agent player. It’s hard to comment on any possible trade that’s in the work or that you are even talking about. What’s important, with a player like this (Figgins), we have versatility and flexibility.
Q: What is the status of Russell Branyan’s back and what do you know about it?
I think I know quite a bit. I don’t know where all this going to end up. I don’t know how this club is going to look when we open spring training. Certainly Russell is one that we’ve had discussion with and talks with. I know that Russell is working hard to get himself healthy if you will. We’ll see how this thing unfolds.
Q: Is there more healing that needs to happen?
Any time a player ends the season injured, there’s always rehab and other question marks. But I know he’s working hard. We’ve talked a few times this winter. I know he’s working hard to get himself in good shape.
Q: What about the decision to non-tender Ryan Langerhans? And are you looking to bring him back?
We have strong desire to bring Ryan back. I would hope that may get done in the next couple days.